Sunday, July 04, 2010

Borne aloft by words and dreams. Words to die for, that a dream might come true.

234 years ago this very day, modern hyperspectral imaging technology has verified that Thomas Jefferson crossed out a word in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence and replaced it with a different word. The word he crossed out was, 'subjects' and he replaced it with 'citizens.'

And so a revolution was born. Americans were not merely British subjects of the Crown who wanted King George to pay attention to a list of grievances, but instead were ready to leave that union, for better or worse, and strike out into the world on our own.

And the first challenge was to defeat King George's army. After nine long, bloody years (measured from the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 18-19, 1774) to the final treaty ending the war in 1783, freedom was won and independence was assured.

As Americans we often disagree about many things. I welcome conservatives to challenge me on this blog, not because I will often agree with them, but rather because I love living in a country where I can write this blog, they can comment on it, and we are both protected by the same Constitution. We can go back to the partisan battles tomorrow, but for today I am glad to be part of a great nation along with more than 300 other people.


Jack Hampton said...

I only hope that the America we leave for our children will be a better America than the one we were born into.

Eli Blake said...

Jack: Agreed.

I remember some years ago we took a trip to Massachusetts. We walked across the bridge where the British and American soldiers were shooting at each other in Concord (there were the graves of a pair of British soldiers at the foot of the bridge, buried right there where they fell.)

Later as we drove down the road the British army took as they retreated back to Boston, you could see the low stone walls all the way along the road. Those were the walls the minutemen crouched behind as they fired at the redcoats.

It was an amazing experience. One that made me appreciate America in a much different way than I ever had before.

sandyh said...


If we put the upper tax rates for the wealthy back to where Reagan had them and pulled all our troops out of the Middle East, we would leave our children with something better than they are dealing with now.

Better than what our parents left us with? That would take getting rid of our standing army, ending all subsidies to Big Oil and foreign multinationals, and upping incentives for emerging technologies and clean energy research.

The Founders were always thinking about the possibilities not holding onto the dogma of the past.


It all becomes real when you see the the actual place where these "shots heard 'round the world" happened. That they happened here is extraordinarily good luck for us.